We use premium fabrics, innovative design and daily inspiration from our base on the Cote d’Azur to produce elegant, high performance cycling clothing for both men and women. We call our approach ‘tailored-tech’, it’s a belief that style doesn’t mean compromising on performance and it underpins everything we do.
‘Sur le Bitume’ is our performance range, designed with precision and flair for the intense physical stresses of road cycling.
‘Sur le Zinc’ is our city collection, relaxed, stylish threads that work as well when you lock your bike up at a café as they do when you’re cruising the city streets.
Unlike some companies, we don’t simply buy our clothing off the shelf and then just change a colour here or add an image there. Instead, everything we do is created from scratch and built from the ground up. Each piece starts life as a blank sheet of paper. In fact even before the paper, it starts as an idea, or half an idea, or simply just as a vague thought. Then we get to the paper and from that point on the process is one of continual development and improvement.
We work almost exclusively with Italian factories, small and medium size family firms with a wealth of experience, knowledge and know-how. They’re all located within a couple of hours drive of our base so we visit them regularly to check on progress, swap ideas, discuss the latest developments or just shoot the breeze. They’re an integral part of what we do and establishing this kind of relationship means that everyone involved is fully invested in the quality of our clothes.
The fabric choice is critical. We only choose fabrics which both look sensational and perform even better. We work with some of the best producers in Europe, companies who supply the world’s most luxurious technical and fashion brands with the highest quality products. We take inspiration form a whole range of design fields and we look to learn lessons from other high performance or endurance sports. Again, everything we do goes back to our fundamental principles of ‘tailored- tech’.
But the design of any new product isn’t just about the fabric, or more likely fabrics as most of our pieces are constructed from more than one, but rather about a whole host of decisions concerning every detail. The zip, again often more than one, the buttons if there are any, the type of mesh or grippers, elastic or padding or anyone of a dozen questions which need the best possible answers. And if a critical element doesn’t exist, can we get one made specifically for us? If so, that means yet more development and testing.
Fortunately we’re surrounded by a natural test bed, with the road and tracks of the Alpes Maritimes providing the perfect mix of conditions to rigorously test each piece. Across the year we can find extreme heat or high humidity, pleasant afternoons and chilly mornings, bone numbing cold and biting winds. Sun, rain, snow, hail, and sleet and pretty much everything in between. And with Nice being such a cycling hot spot there are a steady stream of riders, pros and semi pros, friends and amateurs, happy to ride out in the latest product or prototype and feed back a wealth of priceless information – whether it be good news or bad.
Of course, despite all the time and effort involved, there are many ideas which don’t make it in to full production. Sometimes they don’t get beyond that sheet of paper but sometimes they get as far as the fourth or fifth prototype only to be dropped at the last hurdle. Perhaps there’s a technological barrier we simply can’t overcome or perhaps the cost of making it perfect is simply too high. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel right. It ticks all the right boxes in theory but there’s something unquantifiable missing, that certain something we’re continually striving for. In short, it’s just not quite Café du Cycliste.